Soccer Falls to Auburn, Awaits NCAA Berth
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The No. 2-seeded LSU soccer team suffered a defeat in the first round of the SEC Women's Soccer Tournament for the first time since the 2005 season with a 3-0 defeat to No. 7 seed Auburn in Wednesday's opening match of this year's event at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
After kicking off in Wednesday's first round with a two-game winning streak in SEC play, the Tigers (13-7-1) saw their streak snapped with their second defeat to Auburn (12-6-2) this season.
It also ended a streak of four-straight seasons with LSU advancing to the SEC Tournament semifinal after the Tigers had earned a spot in the second round in each of the last four years from 2007-10.
Auburn freshman Tatiana Coleman broke the ice in the 31st minute with her seventh goal of the campaign following a free kick taken by defender Heather Havron just inside the midfield stripe. After Havron's service bounced into the penalty box, Coleman floated a header from eight yards over LSU's goalkeeper Mo Isom and inside the right post to give Auburn the 1-0 lead at the 30:05 mark.
As Boudreau received the ball near the top of the box with her back to goal, she shielded herself from one of Auburn's center backs and played a back heel to Chapman running free in the left side of the area. That is when Chapman fired an eight-yard blast that was saved by a diving Amy Howard in goal for Auburn as Howard dove to her left to deny Chapman the equalizer before the break.
Auburn then benefitted from an LSU own goal in the 62nd minute of the second half to push its lead to 2-0 following a cross into the box by defender Julie King. As Isom came off her line to challenge the cross by King, the ball slid beyond Isom's grasp and inside the six-yard box. In an attempt to play the ball out for a corner kick, Alex Arlitt's sliding effort found the side netting to give Auburn a 2-0 advantage.
Auburn had an opportunity to extend its lead to 3-0 with just over three minutes to play in the game after King sprung free on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty kick when she was stopped on her run to goal by LSU's Alex Ramsey, who pulled King's left arm as she was preparing to take a strike in a wide-open net. The center referee then issued Ramsey a red card for denying King a goal-scoring opportunity on the play.
But the ensuing spot kick by All-American Katy Frierson was denied by Isom as Frierson tried to beat the Tiger goalkeeper with a shot inside the left post. Isom's diving save was then played out of danger outside the area to keep the LSU deficit at two goals at the 85:38 mark of the second half.
With LSU playing shorthanded with 10 players, Maddie Barnes scored Auburn's third goal of the game in the 88th minute on a breakaway to provide the final 3-0 scoreline at the 87:38 mark of the contest.
With a Top 30 ranking to their credit in the NCAA's latest Ratings Percentage Index released Wednesday afternoon, the Tigers now await an NCAA Tournament berth as selections to the field of 64 will be announced by the NCAA Selection Committee on Monday afternoon. The Tigers are ranked No. 30 in the latest RPI report released by the NCAA during Wednesday's SEC Tournament match.